Hair Tips

Sweaty Hair After a Workout: What Products to Use

In this Article

Whenever you break a sweat, your body isn’t the only thing that will feel the effects. After a workout, your hair may get damp from the sweat. And if you’re in a rush to work or a Friday-night dinner, you might not have time to wash your sweaty tresses. So, what is there to do? 

Before diving into how you can achieve a fresh and clean hair-do after your workout, whether that involves using a fortifying dry shampoo or styling your hair with a hat, let’s take a look at how sweat affects your hair.

Does Sweat Make Hair Oily? 

The production of sweat doesn’t directly cause hair to become oily, but it can indirectly affect hair oil, or sebum, in a few ways. When it comes to post-workout haircare, it’s important to understand how sweat and oil interact with your scalp. 

When you sweat during a workout, the sweat can agitate the sebum on your hair and scalp and move it around. The combination of oil and sweat, even if there is no additional oil at play, can feel like you have more oil than before your workout. 

When sweat builds up over time on your scalp is the point at which your scalp might start producing more oil. Sweat contains salt, and can also contain other toxins as your body rids them through your sweat. As a result, your scalp may produce sebum as an antibacterial method to clean the scalp of these impurities.1

Other factors that can also increase sebum on your hair and scalp include: 

  • Overwashing 
  • Under washing 
  • Using the wrong types of shampoo
  • Using too much conditioner 
  • Overusing products
  • Using the wrong products 
  • Hair product build-up 
  • Using a dirty hairbrush 
  • Touching your hair 
  • Dirty linens

Now that you know some of the common culprits for what makes your hair oily, including after a workout, let’s jump into what products and methods you can use to keep your hair fresh.

Clean hair without the shower. Shop dry shampoo!

Dry Shampoo

From at-home workouts to instructor-led classes at the gym, you can’t go wrong with having dry shampoo on hand, especially if you’re short on time. Dry shampoo allows you to skip the wash while providing your hair with the odor, oil, and sweat absorption it needs to feel and look healthy and clean.

Let’s take a look at the best types of dry shampoo for your hair.

  • Odor, sweat, and oil absorbing – If you’re looking for something that will leave you feeling fresh and clean all day long, go for a dry hair shampoo that releases fresh fragrance all day long and leaves your hair feeling light and clean hours after your workout.
  • Added conditioning – Our advanced clean dry shampoo works similarly to regular dry shampoo. However, it has a few more conditioning benefits that add softness and shine to your hair to achieve a freshly-washed look while also balancing your sebum levels.

You can enjoy the many benefits of dry shampoo as you plan your workout routine. But, when is the best time to use dry shampoo?

Can I Use Dry Shampoo Before A Workout? 

Dry shampoo is an easy tool to have on hand when you know you’ll be breaking a sweat. It’s easy to tuck into your fitness bag and lightweight enough to carry around all day. So, how do you use dry shampoo and how can you add it to your workout routine?

Yes, you can use dry shampoo before a workout. In fact, it’s a great way to keep your hair looking great even as you break a sweat. Adding some dry shampoo to your hair, at the roots specifically, is one way to help stop the greasy, sweaty look before you’ve even broken a sweat, as it will help soak up any sweat and excess oil as you give your workout your all. 

Can I Use Dry Shampoo After A Workout? 

A bit more of a common practice, the answer to this question is also yes. Using post-workout dry shampoo can help absorb the extra sebum and sweat from the scalp. Be sure to find a dry shampoo that doesn’t contain ingredients such as sulfates or silicone, as these ingredients can clog your pores and trap sweat and impurities at your roots. 

Using dry shampoo after a workout also helps avoid excessive hair washing that can lead to dryness and damage. For finer hair, washing your hair daily can actually trigger your sebaceous glands to produce more oil as it attempts to moisturize and nourish your scalp. 

Therefore, if you work out every day, try to use dry shampoo post-workout instead of wet shampooing on the daily.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day products.

Other Methods for Masking Sweaty Hair

Whether you’ve just finished stretching or have broken a sweat on your yoga mat, knowing what to do with your post-workout hair can be tricky, especially if you’re in a time crunch. 

If you don’t have time to wash your hair or don’t have dry shampoo at your disposal to give your hair a fresh look and feel, styling your hair with a hat or headband is an easy fix. 

Consider these alternatives for masking your hair after a workout: 

  • Style it up – A casual or formal updo will do if you don’t have products on hand. A braid or casual messy bun is one way to keep eyes away from your sweaty, post-workout hair and add some interesting style in the process. 
  • Blow dry it – Hitting your hair with the blow dryer for just a few minutes after a workout, targeting your sweaty roots, is one way to lose the sweaty, tired look and bring some new life and volume into your lovely locks. 
  • Spray your roots – Another way to help leave the gym looking as good as you feel is to add a bit of styling or texturizing spray. It will take your hair from a sweaty mess to a casual, airy style. 
  • Wear a headband – A headband is beneficial in more ways than one. It hides the sweat near your roots while soaking some of it up in the process, serving as your post-workout hero all afternoon until you can hop in the shower. 
  • Rock a hat – If you’re headed somewhere where a hat is acceptable, like the grocery store or your own house, pop a baseball hat on, and the world will be none the wiser to your sweaty scalp. Bonus points for keeping the sun out of your eyes outdoors. 

Second-Day Hairstyles 

After a workout, you can turn to styling second day hair with one of the following hairstyles designed to hide oily roots and use them to your styling advantage.

  • The messy bun – The style you can wear from the gym to the office and all around town, a messy bun will never fail you. It provides the versatility to be worn while welcoming flyaways and masking excess oil in the scalp department. 
  • Braids for days – If braids are your thing, they’ll go a long way in taming hair that’s gone the extra mile before a shampoo. Braids help tame frizz and can be worn down or wrapped up into a bun or ponytail for a uniquely chic look. 
  • The half-up knot – A half-bun or half-up knot is another option to mask any particularly sweaty hair after a workout. Pull the top layer of your hair into a messy bun on the top of your head and spray with a texturizer or dry shampoo. 

Go the Extra Mile

When you’re toweling off after a workout session and you want to feel your best without sweaty hair, here are a few more products to add to your fitness bag: 

  • Hair texturizing spray – Add this to your up-do or second-day hairstyles to lift your roots up from the sweat weigh-down and leave your hair looking fresh. After your light or intense workout, spray evenly over your roots before messy buns, half-up knots, or loose braids.
  • De-frizzer spray — Tame your flyaways with a de-frizz spray that tames post-workout frizz and locks in second-day styles. It can also be a conditioner, so you can add it to the entire hair shaft to add moisture, luster, and shine.
  • Restore hair spray – This hair product is an all-around miracle worker, but especially for times when your hair undergoes stressful situations like workouts and high ponytails. If you go hard on the mat and are dealing with tangles, this spray will do the trick to detangl

Woman with straight brown hair.

Don’t Sweat It: Restore Post-Workout Hair with Living Proof 

You’re doing your best to take care of yourself—mind, body, and hair. So when you’re heading to the gym, getting ready to work out, or gearing up for a new class, harness that empowered feeling and wave goodbye to the stress of post-workout hair by reaping the benefits of dry shampoo

At Living Proof, we have the products you need to tackle your pre-and post-workout sweaty hair while nourishing it from root to tip. We formulate our products with the science of your unique hair in mind. That means you can spray, lather, or rinse with confidence that your hair is only being treated with the best. 

Browse our hair products online to pack your fitness bag with the best treatments for your hair. And if you’re looking to learn more about your hair type, take our hair quiz to find your match.

  1. Temperature: Medical Physiology and Beyond. Physiology of sweat gland function: The roles of sweating and sweat composition in human health.
  2. Healthline. Why Is My Hair So Oily?

Living Proof logo


Living Proof Review Team

Related Articles

Image without a name
Hair Tips How To

Clarifying curly hair [remove buildup + restore volume]

Read More
Image without a name
Hair Health Hair Tips

What is clarifying shampoo? [+ how & when to use it]

Read More
Image without a name
Hair Tips Hair Styling How To

How to Get Rid of Frizzy Hair: 15 Top Tips

Read More